2013 TCN/Scout.com Cards All-Prospect Team

Our annual ranking of the top prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system by position.

The subject here in the 46th article in our Top 40 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects for 2013 series is the top organizational minor league prospects by position.

The selection process is most straightforward. We have already unveiled our top 40 prospects in the system via the "40 Days, 40 Nights, 40 Prospects" series. Putting together this year's All-Prospect Team is as simple as culling the top-ranked player at each position from that top 40.

The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals All-Prospect Team includes 12 players – eight position players, including two corner outfielders considered as one group, plus four pitchers – left and right-handed starters and relievers. The left-handed reliever, a constant challenge for the organization, is included separately for the second time. Listed are each player's overall ranking in the top 40, age and predominant level played in 2012, as measured by at-bats or innings pitched.

The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals 2013 All-Prospect Team

Position Player Rank Age 12 Lvl
Catcher Adam Ehrlich * 34 20 R
First Base Matt Adams 7 24 AAA
Second Base Kolten Wong 6 22 AA
Shortstop Ryan Jackson 15 24 AAA
Third Base Carson Kelly * 10 18 R
Corner Outfield Oscar Taveras 1 20 AA
Corner Outfield Anthony Garcia 9 20 A
Centerfield James Ramsey * 13 23 A+
LH Starter John Gast 20 23 AAA
RH Starter Shelby Miller 2 22 AAA
LH Reliever Sam Freeman 24 25 AAA
RH Reliever Eduardo Sanchez 26 23 AAA

In an indication of tremendous stability at the top of the prospect rankings, a record nine of the 12 are holdovers from last year, with only three new to the All-Prospect Team (names starred above).

Miller is back again
Top pitching prospect Shelby Miller earns his fourth consecutive berth, but ceded his spot as the system's top-ranked player to Oscar Taveras, repeating here for the second year. Despite a considerable drop in the rankings for 2013, Eduardo Sanchez makes his fourth straight showing as the top right-handed reliever. He and Miller tie for the longest current number of appearances.

Repeaters include three quarters of the infield in first baseman Matt Adams, second sacker Kolten Wong and shortstop Ryan Jackson. Other returnees are outfielder Anthony Garcia, left-handed starting pitcher John Gast and left-handed reliever Sam Freeman.

New members of the all-prospect team include a pair of 2012 draftees, third baseman Carson Kelly and centerfielder James Ramsey, plus one selection from the 2011 draft – catcher Adam Ehrlich.

TCN/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals All-Prospect Teams – 2006 through 2013

All-Prospects 2013 2012 2011
Catcher Adam Ehrlich Tony Cruz Bryan Anderson
First Base Matt Adams Matt Adams Mark Hamilton
Second Base Kolten Wong Kolten Wong Daniel Descalso
Shortstop Ryan Jackson Ryan Jackson Pete Kozma
Third Base Carson Kelly Zack Cox Zack Cox*
Corner Outfield Oscar Taveras Oscar Taveras Oscar Taveras
Corner Outfield Anthony Garcia Anthony Garcia Allen Craig
Centerfield James Ramsey Charlie Tilson Adron Chambers
LH Starter John Gast John Gast John Gast
RH Starter Shelby Miller Shelby Miller Shelby Miller*
LH Reliever Sam Freeman Sam Freeman  
RH Reliever Eduardo Sanchez Eduardo Sanchez Eduardo Sanchez
Player of Year * M. Carpenter
Pitcher of Year * T. Rosenthal * B. Dickson
All-Prospects 2010 2009 2008
Catcher Robert Stock Bryan Anderson Bryan Anderson
First Base Mark Hamilton Curt Smith Mark Hamilton
Second Base Daniel Descalso Jose Martinez Jose Martinez
Shortstop Pete Kozma Pete Kozma Pete Kozma
Third Base David Freese Brett Wallace* Allen Craig
Corner Outfield Daryl Jones Nick Stavinoha Joe Mather
Corner Outfield Allen Craig Jon Jay Jon Jay
Centerfield Jon Jay Colby Rasmus Colby Rasmus
LH Starter Jaime Garcia Jaime Garcia Jaime Garcia
RH Starter Shelby Miller* Jess Todd Adam Ottavino*
Reliever Eduardo Sanchez Jason Motte Chris Perez
Player of Year * David Freese
Pitcher of Year * Lance Lynn * P.J. Walters
All-Prospects 2007 2006
Catcher Bryan Anderson Bryan Anderson
First Base Mark Hamilton Mike Ferris
Second Base Jose Martinez Jose Martinez
Shortstop Tyler Greene Tyler Greene
Third Base Randy Roth Travis Hanson 
Corner Outfield Nick Stavinoha Nick Stavinoha
Corner Outfield Cody Haerther Cody Haerther
Centerfield Colby Rasmus Colby Rasmus
LH Starter Jaime Garcia Eric Haberer
RH Starter B. Hawksworth Anthony Reyes
Reliever Chris Perez Tyler Johnson

Winners from the previous seven seasons are included for comparison purposes with our TCN/Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year in those years listed in bold. The current organizational winners are Seth Maness and Taveras, respectively. The Cardinal Nation agreed on Taveras, but labeled Trevor Rosenthal our top 2012 hurler.

New CF Ramsey
The asterisks (*) denote those cases in past years when either the Pitcher or Player of the Year (or both) were not ranked as the top prospect in the system at their position in the following off-season.

The three 2012 top prospect team members leaving the list for 2013 each had a different reason. Catcher Tony Cruz graduated to the majors, where he remained the entire season, third baseman Zack Cox was traded away and centerfielder Charlie Tilson's progress was slowed by injury, opening the door for draftee Ramsey to overtake him.

In terms of positional turnover, third base remains the champion, with Kelly becoming our seventh hot corner leader in eight years. In recent years, though, centerfielder has seen the most annual change. Ramsey is the fifth centerfielder in five years, following Tilson, Adron Chambers, Jon Jay and Colby Rasmus.

Age and experience

All-Prospect Team 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Average age 22.0 21.7 22.4 22.3 22.5 21.8 21.9
Average experience AA AA AA AA AAA AA A+

Due to the addition of Kelly, who played at the age of 18 last season, this year's All-Prospect Team has a greater spread in ages than last year, with Freeman oldest at 25 years of age. Last year, the low was one year older with Taveras, Garcia and Tilson all at 19 and Cruz oldest at 25. The average age of the 2013 team at 22.0 years is comparable to 2012 at 21.7 years.

The primary level reached by the average player is listed as Double-A, but mathematically, it is slightly below that level. Last year, it was exactly on the line between Double-A and A-Advanced, so the 2013 team is slightly more experienced.

In an indication of the top prospects marching toward the majors, six of the 12 prospects on the team played the majority of their 2012 campaign at Triple-A or higher. That compared to just two the year before. Ramsey making the team broke a three-year dry spell for Palm Beach (A-Advanced) players missing the Top Prospect Team. Only three of the 12 were at Class-A or below last season.

Next up: This article series continues as the message board community highlights the players on their list that did not make the consolidated top 40. We move next to our All-Prospect Team, the highest-ranked players at each position, dive into the numbers behind the top 40, take a look at our best and worst selections from 2012 and the top prospects by level of play.

Our 2013 top 40 series continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

There's more! New annual subscribers as well as current monthly and quarterly subscribers who upgrade to our annual pass will receive in the spring the 2013 FOX Sports NEXT Prospects Guide, a $4.95 value, for FREE. The perfect hardcopy companion to "40 Days" includes the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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